After my beloved White Swan Car Wash and Detail in Kirkland closed toward the end of 2013, I have been keeping busy. I work part-time for my friend Gary Warhaftig as an Area Manager for Point-of-View Telescopes maintaining coin-operated view telescopes in the Seattle/Tacoma area.
In addition to that, I have been driving for Uber in Seattle, trying to keep busy and earn enough to pay the bills. Not what I want to do, but it is something.
After long thought, I decided that this year I would take the plunge and retire. Social Security payments start in July, and I am no longer looking for work. I kinda like my new life.
Well, lets see. I grew up in middle-class neighborhoods of Seattle and its suburbs where I graduated from Woodway High Schoolin Edmonds in 1971. During my senior year and while I attended Shoreline Community College in Seattle I worked part-time at Roll-a-Way Skating Rink in Lynnwood first as a Skate Guard and later as a Supervisor.
After leaving College and working there four years, I decided a change was in order and I went into the Management Training Program at Jack-in-the-Box Restaurants, working my way up to Assistant Manager. In 1976 I got my first Manager's position running a short lived fast-food restaurant called The Minuteman. When that closed, I returned to Jack-in-the-Box for another four years before taking a position as Operations Consultant with A&W International. There I learned the ins-and-outs of Multi-Unit Operations and consulting work with independent Restaurant Owners.
During this time I got together with my dear friend Mimi Mitchell and a business acquaintance and Started One-of-a-Kind Stores, selling giftware and household Salesmen Samples we bought from wholesalers. We grew that business from one small location at a Swap Meet in Edmonds to three retail locations, before going out of business after eight years.
In 1989 I went to work for Chevron as a Store Manager running a Retail Fuel and Convenience Store in Seattle.
Wow. Found a home. And a career. I worked for Chevron for six years working my way up to Area Training Manager before being recruited away by Puget Sound Stations, to Manage six Fuel and Convenience Stores and assist in the development and opening of new and remodeled units in the Seattle/Tacoma Market. In the nine years I worked for them we developed and opened seven new and remodeled Chevron, Shell and Arco AM/PM units, all with Convenience Stores and most with Car Washes.
That was intense, and I finally had enough and left for greener pastures. In the following ten years I ran a series of Chevron, Shell, and 76 Retail Fuel and Convenience Stores and Car Washes in the Seattle Market.